Posted by Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Oil pulling is an ancient practice that uses pure oils to pull harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organism out of your teeth, gums and throat. This natural remedy not only improves oral health, but it’s also used to prevent and reduce a number of different health concerns.
When swished around the mouth and in between the teeth, the antibacterial properties of the oils absorb toxins from the saliva, reduce the number of germs in the mouth, and help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity.
Benefits of oil pulling for oral health
Studies show that this simple cleansing process can whiten teeth, strengthen gums, and help heal and prevent oral health issues such as:
- Cavities and gingivitis
- Bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Dryness of lips, mouth, and throat
Other benefits of oil pulling
Oil pulling is also used to treat and prevent health conditions beyond the mouth. Some of the benefits may include:
- Reducing inflammation
- Seasonal allergy relief
- Headache relief
- Reducing chest congestion
- Detoxifying the body of harmful metals
- Certain skin conditions like eczema
- Supports healthy kidney function
- May relieve ulcers and diseases of the stomach
How to do oil pulling:
- Put 1-2 teaspoons oil into your mouth. The recommended oils for this practice are sesame oil, organic coconut oil, or sunflower oil. Swish the oil for 20 minutes. This will allow the oil to break through the plaque and start reabsorbing the bacteria. First the oil will turn into a thin, white liquid. Then the oil will get thicker and more opaque as it continues to mix with saliva and absorb the toxins. If you find it difficult to swish for 20 minutes at first, that’s ok! Try for 10-15 minutes and then eventually build up to 20 minutes.
- Spit out oil. After 20 minutes have passed, you’re ready to spit the oil out. It’s very important that you do not swallow the oil—it’s full of toxins! It’s best to spit oil out in a plastic bag or paper towel. Spitting the oil in your sink can clog your pipes.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth. After spitting the oil out, rinse your mouth out with salt water or apple cider vinegar to make sure all of oil is removed.
- Use a tongue cleaner to thoroughly clean the tongue and remove bacteria and residuals embedded in the tongue.
- Brush thoroughly. Rinse with apple cider vinegar to remove all excess oil.
It’s recommended to make oil pulling part of your daily routine for optimal results. Although any time of day will suffice, experts agree that it is best done in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
Have you ever tried oil pulling? Post your experiences with oil pulling in the comments.
Notes: I like to use virgin coconut oil when I do oil pulling.